The Brew Site

MacTarnahan dies at 89

Robert Malcolm "Mac" MacTarnahan, patron saint to Portland Brewing, died Monday night. OregonLive has a pretty good article here.

In 1985, he became enamored of Bert Grant’s pioneering brewery and brewpub — the first brewpub in America since Prohibition — in Yakima, Wash., and tried to buy into the business. But Grant told him that a couple of Portland guys were trying to set up their own craft, or small, brewery, so MacTarnahan met with Portland Brewing founders Fred Bowman and Art Larrance on a Saturday morning. They had a couple of beers and MacTarnahan asked how much they needed to get the brewery running, then wrote them a check for $25,000 and enlisted several friends to write smaller checks.

Portland Brewing was one of Portland’s earliest craft breweries and developed a solid cadre of fans thanks to its good beers and the near-magical atmosphere of its Flanders Street brewpub. During the early years of the brewery, MacTarnahan provided the personality that identified Portland Brewing’s beers. Ads made much of his athletic prowess, his 50 gold medals as a senior masters runner and wrestler, his 1999 induction into the Oregon Sports Hall of Fame.